Dexter Cattle - The Breed Ideal and Breed Standard
Breed Standard and Breed Ideal for Dexter Cattle in Australia
You may find the terms Breed Ideal and Breed standard used in various editorials and regulations published by DCAI and wonder what the difference is and of which one you are supposed to be taking notice. For members who have been involved with Dexter cattle for an extended period of time it is all common knowledge but for newer members it may be a little confusing.
The Dexter Cattle Breed Ideal was the first set of guidelines used by the Australian Association to describe what the Dexter Cattle breeders should aspire to in their breeding programs. It was based on the English Breed Ideal, which was the most logical example to use at the time.
Over time it was noted that there was a need to update that Breed Ideal to better reflect and guide the Australian Breeders. This evolution of the breed standard also occurred in other countries as they adjusted the criteria to better suit their respective herds.
As a result the DCAI Dexter Cattle Breed Standard was developed. This is based on the Breed Ideal but offers some expanded information about the various structural straits and characteristics of Dexter Cattle. It is the Breed Standard that is used as a guide to what is acceptable, undesirable or unacceptable for registration into the Australian Herdbook. Other traits described in the Breed Ideal do not impact on the eligibility for registration but do provide an excellent guide to a number of traits that should always be considered when selecting stock.
The Breed Ideal and Breed Standard are published in the DCAI Herdbook Regulations as separate documents one referencing the other. To make things easier to understand on this page they have been amalgamated into one table to allow for easy reference and understanding of both when assessing cattle.
The bolded text in section is what is noted in the original breed ideal.
Subheading - Allowable: describes traits that are allowable and have been taken from what we now refer to as the Breed Standard.
Subheading - Undesirable: traits that do no exclude an animal from registration but it is recommended that breeding programs be directed toward breeding out those traits rather than perpetuating them.
Subheading - Unacceptable: describes traits that are unacceptable for registration.
DCAI does not inspect animals prior to registration and places the onus of animal selection on the breeder. It is in the best interest of the future of the Dexter Breed for members to be diligent in their herd selection.
The Breed Ideal and Breed Standard are both printed in full in the DCAI Herdbook Regulations.